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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > State Readies for Hurricane Irene

State Readies for Hurricane Irene


August 27, 2011

5:45 PM


As Hurricane Irene makes her way up the coast, Maine's local, county and state officials, residents, visitors and business owners are preparing for the first tropical system to impact Maine directly in 20 years.

Today's activities:

  • Governor Paul LePage met with Commissioner John Morris of Public Safety, Major General Bill Libby, Commissioner of the Department of Defense Veterans and Emergency Management and MEMA Director Rob McAleer to go over final preparations for the storm. The Governor then met with the media to review preparations, and ask all Mainers to stay informed, take precautions before the storm, and stay safe.
  • The daily coordination conference call with the National Weather Service confirmed that regardless of hurricane or tropical storm state, Irene will bring strong winds and heavy rain to all of Maine. Downed trees, power lines, flash flooding and storm surge/coastal flooding are expected starting during the day on Sunday and continuing into Sunday night.
  • Shelters in many Maine communities opened this evening, and several more will be opening on Sunday. A continuously updated shelter list will be published on In addition, 211 Maine is maintaining a list of open shelters, and other safety information. Dial 2-1-1 toll-free from anywhere in Maine to get shelter information


  • Governor LePage declared a State of Emergency as of 3:00 pm Friday. This will allow all state resources to be applied to storm response.
  • All coastal Maine state parks and several inland parks will be closed for day use on Sunday, Aug. 28, in anticipation of Hurricane Irene’s arrival.
  • The Department of Marine Resources has closed the Coast of Maine to the harvest of all shellfish effective 12:01 pm (noon) Sunday, August 28th. The Shellfish Hotline number is 1-800-232-4733.
  • DMR has also suspended evening and weekend closed hauling periods for lobster fishers. Lobster fishers are allowed to haul and move lobster traps anytime until Hurricane Irene passes by Maine.
  • The American Folk Festival in Bangor, and the Great State of Maine Air Show in Brunswick are closing down as of Saturday evening, cancelling Sunday's events.
  • The Amtrak Downeaster has suspended its Boston to Portland service for Sunday, August 28.


  • The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be open as of 7:00 am on Sunday. Representatives from all State agencies involved in the response report to the EOC to ensure that all activities are coordinated.

Key Safety Messages:

  • Stay informed as the storm approaches, for the most current information on how your part of the State will be affected You can find current information on Irene and a wealth of preparedness tips at
  • Finish storm preparations:
    • Store or tie down any lawn furniture or other outdoor items that could blow away
    • If you might be isolated in your home or without power, check on the supplies you might need to ride out the storm, including special medical items and supplies for children and pets
    • If you think you might need to leave your home, fill your car with gasoline, and withdraw a small amount of emergency cash from your bank or ATM. Also, make a "go-kit" of essential supplies you would need if you had to leave
  • As the storm moves in:
    • Respect all official instructions, evacuation recommendations or restrictions of roads or coastal areas
    • Respect the power of the high surf. Large crashing waves and rip currents can be deadly. Stay well away from areas that have been closed by local officials.
  • As always, check on neighbors, friends or relatives who might need extra help

Key contacts:

  • Immediate emergency: dial 9-1-1
  • Shelter information and other safety information: Dial 2-1-1 (toll free) to reach 211 Maine
  • Road conditions: dial 5-1-1 or visit



Last update: 07/20/10